LeBron James might be the most well-known basketball player in the world. With a list of awards include 16x All-Star (most of all time), 1x scoring champion, 1x assists champion, 3x NBA Champion, 3x Finals MVP, 4X NBA MVP and Rookie of the Year as well as sitting at 3rd on the all-time scorers list with 34,241 career points, there is no doubt that he has established himself as one of the best players to ever set foot on an NBA court throughout his 18 year career.
Coming into the league fresh out of high school in 2003, LeBron had a lot of hype around his potential in the NBA and was eventually taken at Pick #1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the highly touted next Michael Jordan entering the NBA, shoe companies were desperate to sign LeBron to an endorsement deal before the beginning of his rookie season.
The 3 main offers the he received initially will simply blow your mind. With Adidas offering $60 Million, Nike offering $87 Million and Reebok, offering a ridiculous $117 Million dollars.
With an array of high paying deals on his plate, private jets, meetings and dinners, LeBron James finalized his deal with Nike on May 22, 2003, choosing the $87 Million dollar offer over Reebok’s higher deal due to the longevity he saw with Nike and revolutionizing Nike basketball into something beyond their luxurious Michael Jordan era.
His first signature Nike shoe was released later in 2003 called the Nike Air Zoom Generation.
Being 18 years old and having his own signature shoe, LeBron put on a show in his rookie season living up to his $87 Million dollar Nike price tag.
Since then, LeBron has had over 17 signature shoes, with many more to come in the future. Sales for LeBron branded products have been a top seller for Nike since the early days of the deal, leading him to being one of the premier ambassadors for the brand. Here are some of our favourites
Zoom LeBron 3
Zoom LeBron V
Air LeBron VII
As LeBron’s career progressed and the accolades began to pour in, their investment into LeBron seemed to be one of their best yet. Sales going through the roof through 4 MVP’s and 3 championships, Nike’s LeBron line continued to grow and grow.
12 years after LeBron famously turned down an extra $28 Million dollars from Reebok to join the already thriving Nike Basketball family, James signed a lifetime deal with Nike. The deal, one without a publicly released figure, has been hinted at being worth over $1 Billion dollars and will proceed long, long after James’ basketball days are done. This is the biggest endorsement deal in history of the company and has put James well on track to become one of, if not the highest paid athlete of all time. The deal includes apparel lines, extended shoe lines and to be a high end ambassador for the fitness giant.
At SportsPower Geelong, we sell a huge range of Nike footwear and apparel. Check out our Nike stock and definitely have a look at this pair of LeBron’s we have! The LEBRON WITNESS IV!